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The Gospel of Loki Hardcover – February 13, 2014

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; First Edition edition (February 13, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1473202353
  • ISBN-13: 978-1473202351
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


a fun read, and a nice new slant on the old tales Fortean Times Allan Corduner's charming voicing of our antihero makes us sympathise with him more than we ought to; imaginative accents for the huge cast of gods, giants and demons, and splendid musical effects add to the fun" THE TIMES A chatty, cheeky style that works a treat SFX Moves at a cracking pace and it's a lot of fun -- Jonathan Hatfull SciFiNow A beautifully written darkly fun fairy tale which breathes new life into the Trickster GEEK PLANET ONLINE An ingeniously skewed retelling of Norse mythology. It's fun and you'll keep going to the end. -- Callum Shephard Starbust magazine A surprise from the author of Chocolat, this pacy adult fantasy is narrated by Loki, the Norse god of fire and mischief. -- Violet Henderson Vogue quirky, amusing throughout, with an undercurrent of darkness and menace. This is a lot of fun...A must-read for all fans of Norse legends, fantasy and great writing. -- Stefan Fergus Civilian Reader The type of book where you've gone through fifty pages and are still hungry for more...a joyous, terrifying, tumulutuous ride. And there's undoubtedly more to come. -- Chris Nickson Chris Nickson Harris is an expert of Norse mythology...she makes it into a compelling subject matter that encourages the revisiting of these historic tales. -- Joe Warren Fantasy Book Review Loki's unique narration brings the myths to life with a grounded and modern take on the traits of the gods of Asgard -- Daniel Liscombe Utter Biblio Fun, witty and wholly entertaining, this is a neat retelling of classic legends which maintains their ancient roots without diminishing them in any way through the use of a modern filter -- Matt Adams Herts Advertiser It could have been a stuffy book about the myths and legends of Scandinavia, but with a brilliantly clever twist of Loki as the narrator, and his wonderful sense of wit, it both teaches and entertains Rinn Reads Harris narrative is witty and nicely-paced...The book will appeal to fans of folklore and mythology, but also, I'm sure, to fans of Loki from the marvels movies Nicki J Markus Blog Loki's voice is engaging, witty and likeable...Loki's famous exploits are conveyed with humour and verve Lucy Hounsom Blog It has the right amount of epic fantasy and tongue-in-cheek humour...Harris skillfully weaves the stereotypical evil Loki into a self-aware but misunderstood antihero...a wonderful piece by a wonderful author, Well worth your time. The Tempered Pen Joanne is a natural storyteller who knows a few things about comedy timing...I was snorting with laughter in a most unladylike manner before even emerging from the cast list -- Ani Johnson The Bookbag Joanne M Harris brings her fascination with norse mythology from her previous children's literature foray to her long-standing adult audience with wit, style and obvious enjoyment...For lovers of myth, legend and Game of Thrones Sunday Sun utterly compelling and well worth a read Bury Free Press dark, quirky, occasionally grim, often hilarious and gloriously bold Booktopia This book is about playfulness and trickery and their darkside...there is a sly humour to this novel - both the narrator's and at his expense The Independent a rich, sexy and entertaining tale of imaginative retelling of the old myths, as seen through the eyes of the bad guy, and Harris (she reads Old Norse) handles it brilliantly! Saga the first foray into adult fantasy fiction by the author of Chocolat is lively and fun The Sunday Times Harris has enormous fun with her antihero...this mythical bad boy should beguile fans of Neil Gaiman The Metro retells the sagas for adults, in all their wintry, saucy, grandiose, melancholy glory. The Financial Times An ingenious and funny retelling of the rise and fall of the Norse gods Choice fantasy fans and those who like to read Norse myths will appreciate the Gospel of Loki. I speculate that Joanne Harris's regular readership will enjoy the book too. Geek Native The Chocolat writer moves into the adult fantasy world...we loved it Bella The Gospel of Loki, a retelling of Norse myths, is hilarous Good Housekeeping mixing of ancient myth with cracking modern story telling alongside wonderful prose and pace Falcata Times An entertaining story skillfully written as if it was simply told by Loki himself sitting right next to the reader Fantasy Faction Fun, witty and wholly entertaining, this is a neat retelling of classic legends which maintains their ancient roots without diminishing them through the use of a modern filter Hertfordshire Advertiser Funny, sometimes poignant and always entertaining - don't miss Loki's lesson on life Sci-Fi Bulletin inventive and absorbing...I look forward to Harris' next foray in to fantasy, especially if she applies her love of Norse mythology again Fantasy Book Review Joanne writes this story with panache and skill, infusing it with humour and wry smile throughout. SFF World

About the Author

Joanne Harris is the author of the WHITBREAD-shortlisted CHOCOLAT (made into an OSCAR-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp) and many other bestselling novels. Her hobbies are listed in WHO'S WHO as 'mooching, lounging, strutting, strumming, priest-baiting and quiet subversion'. She plays bass guitar in a band first formed when she was 16, is currently studying Old Norse, and lives with her husband and daughter in Yorkshire, about 15 miles from the place she was born.

More About the Author

Joanne Harris is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Blackberry Wine and Chocolat, which was nominated for the Whitbread Award, one of Britain's most prestigious literary prizes. Half French and half British, Harris lives in England.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 20 customer reviews
Also I thought it was very funny.
Ribald, anarchic fun that is very insightful on the alien mindset of ancient Norse cosmology.
The narrator, Loki, absolutely comes alive in this book with such a true and unique voice.
P. Witvliet

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sean the Bookonaut on March 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Any author who sets out to tackle the Norse mythology in the current climate of Marvel blockbusters has an interesting task on their hands. Some readers will come to the story knowing only the tales as told through the prism of otherworldly superheros. There will be certain expectations, a certain idea of what makes a good Loki, for example. Then there are those who draw their experience of Asgard from tradition or folk lore, from the many fantasy interpretations that have come about during the many periods of resurgent interest. That’s not to say that these groups won’t mingle nor indeed that a single person can’t enjoy both interpretations but there exists in the public conscience some strong ideas.

So what has Harris done with The Gospel of Loki? Well I think she has trod a middle path. While her Loki lacks the gravitas that drips from Tom Hiddleston’s portrayal of Loki, there’s a definite likeable rogue in her Loki, a misunderstood soul - who will tell you as much with a twinkle in his eye. There is much to like in Harris’ Loki, he feels more honest and real, the other gods are too saccharin for my taste to be likable. With Loki you know you can never trust him, but you will like having him around.

Oh he’s a bastard for sure, don’t get me wrong.

The Gospel of Loki walks the middle path by having a protagonist with a very modern register but still structuring the work as if it were a folk tale. The novel is split into a number of books, which are then split into a number of small lessons or chapters each headed with an epigram from Loki’s own sayings, for example :

Lesson Two


One woman; trouble. Two women - Chaos.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By P. Witvliet on February 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Writing 5/5
Imagination 5/5
Plot 5/5
Setting 5/5
Characters 5/5

My Overall Enjoyment 5/5

Stellar writing and storytelling! A true literary masterpiece. One of the best books of 2014. This was so light and fluid to read it was a non-stop joy. There were so many beautiful turns of phrase that it took much longer to read this than it normally would because I kept going back rereading paragraphs and sentences. Immediately upon finishing, I planned to read this again; something pretty rare for me. This author is new to me and to fantasy writing but I really hope she writes another fantasy book.

I am not overly familiar with Norse Mythology but the new reader need not worry. This book includes a "who's who" upfront and jumps into Loki's tale. It's in modern voice which is a neat juxtaposition with the ancient story it tells. The narrator, Loki, absolutely comes alive in this book with such a true and unique voice. Laugh-out-loud funny then twisted and dark the next page, Loki seems so real, with the inconsistencies and contradictions that make up every individual.

Highly recommended for EVERYONE! This book was perfect by every measure available. I really can't imagine anyone could find it less than delightful. There are themes for everyone and this is a story of human history and the human condition; jealousy, love, hatred, evil, revenge, the search for knowledge and wisdom, power, greed, sorrow, fear, and on and on. I feel more enlightened about the world after reading this book; it put a smile on my face. I want more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cara F. on July 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I should preface this by saying that I'm a huge fan of Norse mythology; I've read and discussed many of the sagas and myths, and I'm very familiar with the runes and rune poems as well. So I was really excited to read this book, even though that meant ordering from out of the country and paying the extra shipping, as it's not available on Kindle. I had never heard of this author, though apparently she's well known and highly regarded in the UK. Also, given the amount of attention the character of Loki has gotten due to the Marvel movies, and how well Tom Hiddleston portrayed the complexity and vigor of that character, I had some pretty high expectations for the book. (And, the title--"The Gospel of Loki"? I appreciate the allusion to the Bible's Gospels, but that's setting up some pretty big shoes to fill, IMHO. This book needed to be an engaging, rock-solid satire to live up to a title like that.)

--She really knows her mythology (apparently she is studying ancient Norse at the moment), and almost every major myth is included (though of course from Loki's perspective).
--Her take on the Vanir/Aesir war and Gullvieg-Heide was one I hadn't seen before, and brought up some interesting possibilities for my understanding the deities and politics involved.
--It was great to see the myths from Loki's point of view, a la "Wicked" and "Maleficent". (However, it's not actually that great of an example of that genre.)
--To be fair, the book did start out strong, portraying Loki as vivid rebel about to take on Asgard; and the snappy chapter titles were entertaining.

--Loki, the star of the show, was for the most part boring and whiny.
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